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My friends and I are traveling to Europe, and I'll be going to the German Consulate in San Francisco to obtain my visa. One of the documents required is proof of hotel reservation.

Can someone explain what this means?

We booked hostels via hostelworld and some of these were booked by my friend. All I have is an email forwarded by her to me, saying "Dear X (my friend's name), Your hostel booking has been confirmed for 5 people...".

Does this constitute proof of hostel booking?

The email confirmation doesn't even have names of any of the rest of us.

Also, how would Airbnb or CouchSurfing reservations work?

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I did this when I was in the UK. I can tell you from my experience. I believe it's going to be almost the same as the consulate in the US.

I used Booking.com and it's enough to show that you have confirmation of accommodation.

I used to use Hostelworld.com as a confirmation as well and it worked for me. However, the email had my name on it.

I used to use AirBnb and it also worked as a confirmation.

I have never done any couchsurfing so I can't really provide and details.

Email from your friend wouldn't count as confirmation of accommodation as far as I'm aware. Having said that, I used to have my friend wrote me a letter stating that I'll be staying with him from ... to ... and I attach his copy of passport and it also worked.

I suggest you call the German embassy in SFO to confirm about all of this again. I did the same when I was applying in London and they gave me all the details how they want the letters to be.

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